I just recalled that I found “this ITAR-TASS interview”:http://www.itar-tass.com/eng/level2.html?NewsID=3720423 with DPRK Foreign Minister Paek Nam Sung last month. My impression is that Paek doesn’t give too many of these, at least that are available in English.
This portion well summarizes Pyongyang’s take on its diplomacy with Washington and Tokyo, at least as it stood in late February:
Q. – In your view, is there a possibility to resume the next round of the 6-partite talks in the near future? And if so, may they bring about a concrete outcome having in mind in the first place attainment of the agreement between DPRK and the USA?
A. – The denuclerization of the Korean peninsula is our final goal. Inalterable and consequent is our stand to observe the clauses of the Joint Statement agreed upon through such hard labor as a result of the Fourth Round of the 6-partite talks. However, after adopting the Joint Statement the USA openly transgress the spirit of the Statement and exert even more pressure against our Republic therefore creating serious obstacles on the way of moving the 6-partite talks forward.
The â€œillegal trade version” and the financial sanctions against the DPRK that followed are in essence a campaign of conspiracy aimed to “bring down the regime” in the DPRK and to achieve “first-order dismantling of the Nuclear Program”. There is no .justification for the financial sanctions by the USA that put a barrier across the road to fulfillment of the Joint Statement adopted as a result of the Fourth Round of the 6-partite talks.
Inalterable is our will to fulfill the Joint Statement of the 6-partitel talks. We are ready to have talks at any time provided the stumbling blocks on the road to the progress of the 6-partite talks and the fulfillment of the Joint Statement are removed.
Q. – Is there any chance for further consultations between Pyongyang and Tokyo relating to normalization of bilateral relations? Do you consider the possibility of establishing constant high level contacts with Japan prior to solving the problem of official reciprocal recognition?
A. â€“ The normalization of relations between DPRK and Japan fully depends on the approach by Tokyo. The main obstacle for the normalization of bilateral relations is that Japan still does not in a proper way repent for its past crimes against our people and tries to avoid the question of drawing the line to the past under the guise of economic cooperation.
Japan ought to rationally assess the course of time, to repent in good faith and to draw the line under its past crimes, to abstain from hostile activities against DPRK including the nuclear problem on the Korean peninsula. Only then it will be recognized as a “full member of the international community”, and the problem of normalizing relations between the DPRK and Japan will also be solved.
This is “my latest take”:http://www.armscontrol.org/act/2006_04/nkustalksinch.asp on the situation.
The U.S. is currently using covert means to disrupt Iran’s attempts to go from pilot to production of EU.
The reporting and speculation that the U.S. will use nukes against Iran is Seymour Hersh hogwash…it just isn’t necessary to use nukes even if the U.S. were to strike Iran’s nuclear infrastructure. There are many weak points in the fuel production cycle that the U.S. could cripple in a conventional attack that would delay Iran’s program considerably (assuming Iran doesn’t have vast EU production facilities unknown to the US IC or obtains HEU by some other means).
There are no good options available to the US right now short of covert disruption operations.
Diplomacy is a loser from the start and thus only seeks to allow Iran to perfect their program over time…did it work with N. Korea and Pakistan? Of course it didn’t. These 2 countries were determined to join the nuclear club whatever the consequences, and so is Iran.
Mark my words ‘arms control’ wonk…36 -48 months from now, Iran will declare it possesses a nuclear weapon.
It may not be deliverable by BM and may be a crude design, but the capability of Iran to build atomic bombs WILL be a grave threat to U.S. and Israeli national security and these 2 nuclear powers aren’t going to sit on their hands waiting for the inevitable to happen.